After learning of the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher and Rawhide alum Tyler Skaggs, fans sat in disbelief.
"It's not like someone who was here for a game, and no one remembers his name," said Amanda Pichurko. "Everyone remembers Tyler. You know, he was such a good kid."
Season ticket holders Amanda Pichurko and Janice McCombs have had a view of the mound for more than a decade. They have fond memories of Tyler's 2011 season with the team, including their interactions with him. They said he always made time for fans.
"He was always fun to watch he always dominated on the mound," Pichurko said. "You could tell he was driven he wanted to achieve this so when he got the call up it was obvious it was time for him to go up."
"It's just wonderful to have been able to have seen him," McCombs added.
The news stunned baseball fans and players across the nation.
Tributes pouring in at Angels stadium and flooding social media.
We came up together. We won together. We laughed and celebrated together. Today, we all lose and mourn together. Your memory, your love for life, everything that made you, you, will live forever in the hearts and minds of those who knew you. Rest In Peace brother. We love you. pic.twitter.com/n30eXspS4N— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) July 1, 2019
Wow I’m in total unbelief of the news of @TylerSkaggs37. Playing with you coming up in the minors was a blast! I’ll never forget in double A making you a dozen cinnamon rolls and you eating all of them! Your fun loving spirit was contagious and something I’ll never forget! pic.twitter.com/2ss6to2Kvt— Chase Anderson (@ChaseAnderson87) July 1, 2019
Former Rawhide teammate, and now starting pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, Chase Anderson, came up with Tyler in the minors.
"Anyone who's crossed paths with Tyler knows he had a heart of gold an infectious smile and a contagious attitude being around him was always a lot of fun," Anderson said.
He says their friendship went beyond trading curveball tips.
"We travel on the buses together, play catch together spend off days together, live in the same complexes together, drank Dr. Pepper together just everything we were like family," he said.
The Visalia Rawhide released the following statement:
"We are shocked and saddened to hear of news about Tyler. During his time in Visalia he was a great player to have in the community and represent the Rawhide brand. His mother, former softball star, would travel to Visalia to watch him pitch and grew close to our staff and host families. We have Tyler's family in our thoughts and prayers today as we all wait to learn more about his tragedy."